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UNPUBLISHED

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS


FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT

No. 11-5089

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,


Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
MARK LOMAX,
Defendant - Appellant.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of
Maryland, at Baltimore.
William M. Nickerson, Senior District
Judge. (1:10-cr-00145-WMN-1)

Submitted:

August 23, 2012

Decided:

August 30, 2012

Before NIEMEYER, KING, and THACKER, Circuit Judges.

Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.

James Wyda, Federal Public Defender, Lauren E. Case, Staff


Attorney,
Greenbelt,
Maryland,
for
Appellant.
Rod
J.
Rosenstein, United States Attorney, Debra L. Dwyer, Assistant
United States Attorney, Gerald A. A. Collins, Special Assistant
United States Attorney, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.

Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.

PER CURIAM:
A

jury

convicted

Mark

Lomax

of

three

counts

of

interference with commerce by robbery, in violation of the Hobbs


Act,
Lomax

18
to

U.S.C.
240

challenging

sentence.

months

the

convictions,
district

1951

two

court,

(2006).

imprisonment.

sufficiency

of

supplemental
and

The

the

Lomax

the

jury

district

court

sentenced

timely

appealed,

evidence

instructions

procedural

supporting
given

reasonableness

by
of

his
the
his

Finding no error, we affirm.


Lomax first challenges the sufficiency of the evidence

supporting his convictions.


of evidence de novo.

We review challenges to sufficiency

United States v. Roe, 606 F.3d 180, 186

(4th Cir.), cert. denied, 131 S. Ct. 617 (2010).

We are obliged

to sustain a guilty verdict that, viewing the evidence in the


light

most

favorable

to

the

prosecution,

is

supported

by

substantial evidence.

United States v. Osborne, 514 F.3d 377,

385 (4th Cir. 2008).

Substantial evidence in the context of a

criminal action is evidence that a reasonable finder of fact


could accept as adequate and sufficient to support a conclusion
of a defendants guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

United States

v. Burgos, 94 F.3d 849, 862 (4th Cir. 1996) (en banc).


A defendant bringing a sufficiency challenge bears a
heavy burden.
Cir. 1995).

United States v. Hoyte, 51 F.3d 1239, 1245 (4th

In evaluating the sufficiency of evidence, we do


2

not review the credibility of witnesses, and we assume the jury


resolved all contradictions in favor of the Government.
States v. Foster, 507 F.3d 233, 245 (4th Cir. 2007).

United

Reversal

for insufficient evidence is reserved for the rare case where


the prosecutions failure is clear.

United States v. Beidler,

110 F.3d 1064, 1067 (4th Cir. 1997) (quoting Burks v. United
States, 437 U.S. 1, 17 (1978)).
The Hobbs Act makes it a crime to commit robbery or
extortion to obstruct, delay, or affect commerce or the movement
of any commodity in commerce.

A Hobbs Act violation requires

proof of two elements: (1) the underlying robbery or extortion


crime, and (2) an effect on interstate commerce.
v.

Williams,

reviewed

the

342

F.3d

record

350,
and

353

(4th

conclude

Cir.

that

sufficient to support Lomaxs convictions.

United States

2003).
the

We

have

evidence

was

To the extent Lomax

requests that we overrule the minimal effects test regarding the


impact on interstate commerce, we reject his request.

United

States v. Najjar, 300 F.3d 466, 486 n.8 (4th Cir. 2002) (a panel
of this court cannot overrule a decision of a prior panel).
Lomax next asserts that the district court erred in
giving two supplemental instructions to the jury.

The initial

jury instructions included a redacted version of 1951(a), with


references
violation

to
of

extortion
the

statute

and

the

removed.
3

potential
After

punishment
the

jury

for
twice

requested a complete copy of the statute, the district court


gave the jury a copy of 1951 with only the potential term of
imprisonment redacted.

The district court also provided the

jury with a definition of interstate commerce from Blacks Law


Dictionary after the jury asked for a definition of the term
three

times.

Lomax

argues

that

these

two

supplemental

instructions were unfairly prejudicial.


[T]he

necessity,

extent,

and

character

of

any

supplemental instructions to the jury are matters within the


sound discretion of the district court and should be reviewed
for an abuse of discretion.
212,

219

citation

n.2

(4th

Cir.

omitted).

United States v. Grossman, 400 F.3d

2005)

We

(internal

review

the

quotation

decision

to

marks

and

give

an

instruction and the instruction itself for abuse of discretion.


Foster,

507

F.3d

at

244.

When

evaluating

the

adequacy

of

supplemental jury instructions given in response to a question


asked by the jury during deliberations, we consider whether the
court addressed the jurys inquiry fairly and accurately without
creating prejudice.

United States v. Martinez, 136 F.3d 972,

977 (4th Cir. 1998).

Because we conclude that the district

courts supplemental instructions addressed the jurys inquiries


without prejudicing Lomax, we find that the district court did
not abuse its discretion.

Lomax
unreasonable.
deferential

also

challenges

his

sentence

as

procedurally

We review a sentence for reasonableness under a


abuse-of-discretion

standard.

States, 552 U.S. 38, 41 (2007).

Gall

v.

United

A sentence is procedurally

reasonable if, among other requirements, the court sufficiently


explains its reasons for imposing it.

United States v. Carter,

564 F.3d 325, 328 (4th Cir. 2009).

The district court must

provide an individualized assessment based on the particular


facts of the case before it.

Id. at 330 (internal quotation

marks

sentence

omitted).

While

every

requires

an

adequate

explanation, when the district court imposes a sentence within


the Guidelines range, the explanation need not be elaborate or
lengthy.

United States v. Hernandez, 603 F.3d 267, 271 (4th

Cir. 2010).
Lomax

argues

that

due

to

his

turbulent

childhood,

substance abuse, and current medical status, a variance below


the Guidelines was appropriate.
vary downward.
provide

an

The district court declined to

Lomax contends that the district court did not

adequate

explanation

for

its

refusal.

The

individualized assessment need not be elaborate or lengthy, but


it must provide a rationale tailored to the particular case at
hand

and

adequate

to

permit

meaningful

appellate

review.

Carter, 564 F.3d at 330 (quoting Gall, 552 U.S. at 51).


district

court

considered

the

parties
5

arguments,

The

including

Lomaxs

contention

that

his

childhood,

history

abuse, and medical status warranted a variance.

of

substance

It explained

that Lomaxs crimes were a danger to the community and that his
medical status did not warrant a departure from the suggested
Guidelines range.
that

the

Our review of the record leads us to conclude

district

court

provided

an

adequate

explanation

of

Lomaxs sentence and did not abuse its discretion in imposing


its chosen sentence.
Accordingly,
sentence.
legal
before

affirm

Lomaxs

convictions

and

We dispense with oral argument because the facts and

contentions
the

we

court

are

adequately

and

argument

presented

would

not

in
aid

the
the

materials
decisional

process.
AFFIRMED